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Liverpool consortium to build 5G network for health and social care


A consortium of public and private sector organisations has won funding to create a 5G network to support health and social care in parts of Liverpool.

The Liverpool 5G Create: Connecting Health and Social Care project has received £4.3 million from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) 5G Create programme.

It said the network, which involves an overall investment of £7.2 million will reduce digital poverty for vulnerable people in need, providing safe, free and accessible connectivity to services including health, social care and education.

The consortium is led by the University of Liverpool with partners Liverpool City Council, Blu Wireless Technology, Broadway Partners, Liverpool John Moores University, CGA Simulation, Docobo, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Merseycare NHS Foundation Trust. The project, set to run until March 2022, will be managed and supported by eHealth Cluster with further services supplied from Telet Research (NI), AIMES Management Services and Real Wireless.

It builds on the previous 5G Health and Social Care Testbed in Kensington, Liverpool, and will increase the area covered, upgrade the existing mmWave nodes, integrate small cell technology and trial a range of new use cases in health and social care.

The 5G technology will be used to support a medical grade device to manage and monitor health conditions remotely, an app that teaches anxiety reduction techniques, a remote GP triaging service, wound care and management and sensor technology.

Blueprint plan

The work will feed into a blueprint for the use of private 5G networks in delivering public services. There are plans for this to be disseminated through the DCMS Testbed and Trials Programme

Ann Williams, commissioning and contracts manager at Liverpool City Council, said: “The recent response to Covid-19 has demonstrated the need for increased use of remote health and social care services. Through this project we will ensure that services are available to those in need, removing the barriers caused by lack of affordable connectivity.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “Coronavirus requires us to look at new ways to provide healthcare remotely to the most vulnerable and I’m delighted to commit further funding to Liverpool’s successful 5G trial working on this issue.”

Image by Olak Kosinsky, CC BY-SA 3.0

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